Do you ever feel like you are just winging it? Not just at work but at life in general? Yep, me too. But we are not alone. Every month I have great conversations with the people who make the contents of the box and without fail the chat moves around to how they’ve been winging something in their life or business. This month is no different and there’s been a couple of amusing anecdotes that have got me thinking how playing it loose can actually be a good thing.
Not everyone runs their life along the gentle art of winging it, by all means you need to have it together to grow a business but the ones who do are the ones I enjoy talking to the most. The people who just ‘fell into’ what they do, that it was a ‘happy accident’ or they still seem surprised they are doing something they love for a living.
Being this laxed with plans can come undone at times but often not knowing how something is going to turn out and going for it anyway can be a really powerful thing. That is not to say we are all completely disorganised and just throw things together at the last minute, quite the opposite in fact. I used to feel bad about winging it, that I needed to be more in control, plan things ahead of deadlines or generally be a high achiever. Then I stopped feeling bad about it and embraced it instead. If I hadn’t I would have still been planning the minutiae of Sonic Knits rather than learning as I went. If I worried that I shouldn’t be winging it, I would have never have got this off the ground and I am so glad I did.
But I have and am constantly learning from those around me who are further along their crafty journey than I am and I wanted to share some of those things with you. These learning curves have come from fantastic conversations I've had with all the collaborators so far and you'l be able to read about this month's talk next week.
If You Build It They Will Come
Every time I hear that phrase I want to scream. No, no they will not come. Not unless you tell them it is there. If you build it, you will then need to figure out how to get the people to the party but you’ve got to build it first. That is a far better saying but granted less snappy and well known. I want to make it well know.
You’ve got an idea, you know what you want to do and you know 80 per cent of how to make that happen. Do it. Worry about the rest as you go and if there’s something you don’t know I’ll guarantee Google or You Tube have the answer for you. If they don’t, go ask your friends and your friends of friends. Ask the competition, ask the people who inspired the idea in the first place but go and ask. And then tell people, talk to people. We are all figuring this stuff out together and that applies to everything in life.
But you have to actually do the thing in the first place even if you’ve not got the whole plan in front of you. And then you have to make the people come.
But You Do Need A Plan
You can have a plan and still wing-it, still be a little under prepared or more importantly know that you do not know anything. Anywhere like anything. Winging it isn’t about not making plans but about allowing the plan to grow, adapt and change. Sometimes the plan is just getting through the day in one piece and taking an evening out to relax.
Here’s how I got my plan off the ground: in January this year I wrote down three things I wanted to achieve in my year. I then wrote one thing I could do to move each of those three things along and the smaller steps needed to achieve that one thing. Then I go back at the start of each month and I check my progress. My plan at the start of the year, my timeline at the start of the year looks absolutely nothing like it does now but the movement was immense. The plan grew as I grew as this idea grew. The plan should never be that there is no plan but that you don’t need to stick to the plan.
Knowing That You Know Nothing
Okay probably not nothing but if you accept that you’ll always have thing to learn and that learning as you go is a good way to go about it. Use the ‘not knowing’ as a way to move forward not a reason to stall. You can plan down to the fine details and still feel like you are not ready to hit the green light. I say push that button, go live, make it real and if you have enough of the pieces together then the rest will figure itself out. There is always a reason not to do something, take that feeling and make it the reason to do something. That scared feeling you’re having? Well that’s quickly going to turn into adrenaline when what you want to do is out there and you’ve got to make it great.
So that’s it really, have a plan but not too much of a plan, accept the change and don’t let not knowing something be a reason not to do something.
And now for our winner of the notions bag: Congratulations Shelley, you have one a Woodlands notions bag. We will be in touch in the next day or so. We’ll be running another give-away in two weeks’ time.
There are now only 17 days left to sign up to our September box. We’ll be releasing the details about what was shipped in August’s box in a week’s time. It is our best box yet and the following month is already shaping up to give it a run for its money.